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The Spanish Real Estate Sector in August 2022

At Brainsre.news, we analyse the most important operations closed in August across various segments: companies, residential, hotels, retail, offices, and industrial and logistics.

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Not everything came to a standstill in August: although the summer heat left its mark on the volume of real estate transactions, the month saw a constant trickle of operations across the sector.

Companies

One of the most important headlines at the corporate level was reflected in data about the turnover of consultancy firms and real estate agencies during 2021, which rose by more than 40% YoY. Specifically, real estate agencies invoiced 7.4 billion euros in 2021; whilst consultants recorded revenues of 400 million euros during the same period.

At the beginning of August, in an exclusive interview with Brainsre.news, Urban Campus unveiled its latest business plan, which will see the opening of 30 new residential spaces in five years, ten of which will be located in Spain.

Meanwhile, Pacaso formed a strategic alliance with Re/Max with the aim of promoting its luxury co-ownership model. With this move, the company introduces its innovative second-home model into the 40 destinations in which Pacaso currently operates.

Also in August, the Navarran firms Cetya and Abacus announced the development of 8,000 homes in Brazil. In addition, the firms’ plans involve the construction of three hotels and, probably, a casino resort. The joint investment without the latter would amount to 2.5 billion euros; with it, the figure could rise to 4.5 billion euros.

The Socimi LaFinca, for its part, signed a syndicated loan amounting to 420 million euros until 2029. In this way, the real estate company owned by the García-Cereceda family extended the term of its loan in which Caixabank, Santander, BBVA and Allianz participate.

In mid-August, Urbas acquired Grupo Ingeser and took over its entire portfolio, which includes more than 120 projects currently underway – whose management exceeds 250 million euros – and also the contracts the firm has signed with a number of large companies.

Shortly after, Urbas was in the news once again, announcing its arrival in Saudi Arabia, through the creation of a joint venture with Arkal CC. With that move, the company has taken a big step in its international expansion strategy.

At the end of the month, the same company was in the headlines yet again for its purchase of the construction company CHR for 9 million euros. CHR is one of the most high-profile property developer-builders in Castilla y León, its portfolio comprises more than 1,000 homes and its associated sales will amount to almost 200 million euros. As a result of the news, Urbas’s stock value rose by 12%.

Meanwhile, Alantra acquired an additional 24.5% stake in Access Capital Partners. The investment represents the latest step in the Alantra Group’s strategic objective to become a diversified pan-European asset manager.

Savills IM also acquired Pitmore with the aim of expanding its build-to-rent portfolio in the United Kingdom. The strategy aims to develop up to 500 million pounds sterling worth of quality sustainable housing.

Finally, Huspy acquired two mortgage brokers in the United Arab Emirates, namely, Just Mortgages and Finance Lab. The employees and founders of both companies will join the ranks of the acquiring company.

In terms of the publication of results, one of the companies that reported its figures during the month of August was Vía Célere, which achieved a profit of 26.5 million euros and renewed its promissory note program with the MARF. The company is continuing with its strategy of divestment of non-strategic land and has already sold assets worth 29 million euros.

Meanwhile, Neinor Homes reported that it is going to increase its residential rental portfolio by 2023 and 2024. The company’s forecast is to deliver between 2,500 and 3,000 homes per year, whereby generating an EBITDA of between 140 and 160 million euros.

Haya also announced its results: the company increased its transaction volumes by 10% to 1.4 billion euros. Although it recorded a loss of 42.9 million euros to June 2022, its results were positive after the restructuring.

In other news, Torre Rioja announced that it is going to temporarily suspend its Socimi status and delay its debut on the stock market. On 29 August, the company requested permission to exit the Socimi regime for one financial year due to the panorama it is now facing following the pandemic.

Residential

In August, several companies announced investments in the residential sector. Kronos Homes bought land on which to build 1,500 homes for 50 million euros in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid; Neinor invested 35 million euros in a residential project with 80 units in Bilbao; Franklin Templeton bought affordable rental housing in Barcelona from AQ Acentor; and Vandor announced an investment of between 40 and 60 million euros in the purchase of owned buildings in the Spanish capital.

In addition, Zaragoza City Council announced that it has put up for sale four plots on which to build 206 VPO homes – the deadline for the submission of offers for which expires on 20 September. Meanwhile, Sareb unveiled Project Gas, a portfolio of unpaid loans worth 700 million euros. The company expects to divest this new portfolio before the end of the year. The deadline for the submission of non-binding offers is the end of September.

In terms of new build projects, Barcelona stands out as one of the cities with the largest supply of properties with more than 3,700 units for sale, especially in the areas of Sant Martí and Sants-Montjuic.

Continuing with new developments, Aedas Homes was in the news in August with several new residences: in Nerja, Malaga, its new project is restoring some real estate heritage by protecting the old buildings of an Islamic wall; and in Alicante, the company has started the construction of its first residential development using a wooden structure. Moreover, Taylor Wimpey also announced a new development comprising 58 apartments on the Costa del Sol.

In the field of urban development, Vía Célere’s purchase of land to build 1,500 homes in Los Berrocales stood out, as did Vía Ágora’s acquisition of more than 600,000 square metres of land in the ​​Los Cerros area.

Developments such as LandCo’s (the Santander Group) stand out, comprising 18 projects and 600 homes; along with the start of work by Habitat on a residential project in Collado Villalba;

Alterhome Stays was also in the news: in August, the company made its debut in the holiday let sector in the provinces of Barcelona and Tarragona. In the short term, the firm owned by the González brothers intends to launch 100 private homes for tourist and temporary rental.

Hotels

In August, high-end hotels were back in the headlines, with more than 2,500 new rooms opening in the sector during the 7 months to July; most were located in Madrid, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands.

At the same time, the recovery of tourism has brought a number of transactions. The Central House purchased Rodamón Hostels and whereby added six hotels to its portfolio. In this way, the company now has 550 beds under development and another 700 beds that will be developed over the medium term. On the other hand, Albert Costafreda bought the Curious Hotel in Barcelona for 6 million euros.

In terms of hotel openings, Grupo MAC inaugurated its first urban hotel in Zaragoza, the Hotel Don Jaime 54, with 66 rooms. Meanwhile, Azora entered the Greek market with the acquisition of a 5* hotel, the 401-room Sheraton Rhodes Resort, which will continue to be operated by Marriott.

Retail

In the retail segment, one of the most high-profile transactions was the sale of the Barceló Theater in Madrid for 24 million euros by Pedro Trapote, the nightclub businessman. Another operation saw the sale of two commercial premises in Sevilla and Córdoba by El Corte Inglés for 48 million euros.

Meanwhile, several brands opened new outlets on the high street. The Dr Martens brand made its debut in the city of Valencia with a store on Calle Colón, 16 and Chido Castizo & Chingón opened a new restaurant on Calle Santa Engracia, 54 in the Spanish capital.

In terms of shopping centres, the Mazabi Group announced at the beginning of August that it will develop the Atalaya de Olaz Retail Park near Pamplona. And new commercial outlets were unveiled in ​​Caleido’s retail space, located under the Cuatro Torres, in one of the most important financial districts of Madrid. In addition, Kiabi announced the opening of seven new stores before 2023.

Offices

August witnessed a number of significant deals in the office segment. One example was Banco Santander’s repurchase of a portfolio of 380 of its bank branches from AXA IM, the French insurer’s investment arm. That operation amounted to 300 million euros. Another involved the sale of the historic headquarters of CaixaBank for 239 million euros, a record amount in Madrid’s office segment and equivalent to paying almost 13,000 euros per square metre. The buyer in this case was Inmo Criteria (commercially known as InmoCaixa), the real estate subsidiary of the banking entity.

Also, further up the Paseo de la Castellana, Emperador Properties purchased the property formerly known as Torre Espacio. That transaction comes in the final stretch of the purchaser’s IPO. It is the fourth tallest skyscraper in Spain and one of the top 10 in Europe with a height of approximately 225 meters distributed over 56 floors.

In addition, Franklin Templeton bought the headquarters of the Regional Department of Justice in Barcelona from the KanAm Grund Group; the EUIPO acquired land to expand its headquarters in the capital of Alicante; and Generali sold the Torre Cerdà building in Barcelona to Conrem Tramway.

In addition, ABB proposed the sale of its business park in Madrid in order to explore different options and get a better return on its assets; and Meridia sold four office buildings for 80 million euros – specifically, two buildings in the Viladecans Business Park (Barcelona), another in Julián Camarillo (Madbit, Madrid) and another near Pamplona.

(*) Click here for a comprehensive summary of the office segment during the first half of 2022.

Industrial & Logistics

In terms of transactions, the Losantos family committed 116 million euros to US logistics, a move similar to that of Amancio Ortega, who also bought a FedEx platform in North America. At home, Principal RE stood out with the purchase of a data centre in Barcelona.

Regarding new properties, Inurban started work on a new logistics centre spanning 50,000 square metres in the Valencian town of Albuixech. And, Empresas Polar opened a 4,500-square-metre distribution centre in Madrid.

Read the original article in Spanish.

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